Title: The Happiness Project
Author: Gretchen Rubin
I finally read Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project. It has been on my kindle for a while, but I felt that it would have been a better read in paperback – but in the same breath I could not bring myself to pay for a paperback copy having already downloaded the ebook. It is one one of the most useful and enjoyable books I have read this year.
It is part memoir, part self help. The author spent a year exploring what is is that makes people happy and testing out whether putting into practice some of her readings could help her become happier. I know, it sounds all really navel-gazing and very much like a self help book. It wasn’t any of those. Not really. Rubin has researched her subject extensively and takes some esoteric philosophical debates and breaks them up into digestible chunks to be applied to your everyday life.
I started reading the book thinking: let’s quickly see what this is about, but it took me a lot longer than I’d anticipated because I created my own Happiness Project whilst reading. Which is why I feel that the paperback copy would have been more ideal, for me to take notes in, to bookmark pages and to refer to every so often. I have actually tossed, restored and organised – as per the plan to boost energy and get more vitality. I am more committed to my daily exercise. I am learning to lighten up and being more mindful, and to be more serious about play and leisure. I am pursuing my passion and mastering new technology. Of course it is not to be followed literally step-by-step, and some of the writing can be skimmed over, particularly the readers’ comments which she’s taken off her blog, but overall it can be relevant to some parts of one’s life.
The Happiness Project points out some myths and realities about happiness, or the pursuit of it, in an easily written, honest way. For those who are always questioning how happy they are, and if they could be happier, this is the ideal read. I have always thought that my constant questioning was because I am always striving to improve, to learn or to do more, but now I realise that it is in part, but it is also an age old question that has held the attention of the world from Aristotle to modern day happiness gurus.
I highly recommend this.